How To Make A Dirty Shirley Cocktail

Nostalgia in a highball glass.

The first day of summer is right around the corner and with it, rumblings of what the official drink of the season will be. But if you’ve scrolled through TikTok lately and stumbled across a gradient cherry-red drink that looked oddly similar to a Shirley Temple but with vodka, you, my friend, have virtually met the drink of this summer: The Dirty Shirley.

To no surprise, the hashtag #DirtyShirley on TikTok has over 10.7 million views and one user even called it “the new Espresso Martini,” which was last summer’s trending bar bev. As of May 5, an article in The New York Times transferred over the royal title of honor to the syrupy, vodka-spiked Shirley Temple otherwise known as the Dirty Shirley. In other words? Nostalgia in a highball glass.

Taking a walk down memory lane for some context, the world-famous Shirley Temple was (and likely still is) the drink of choice for kids who wanted to feel like grown-ups. Comprised of lemon-lime soda and cherry juice, the iconic sip garnered its popularity in the 1930s when it was aptly named after the famous child star whose curly locks were her trademark look. Now, the crowd of 21 and over is taking the drink to new levels and embracing the fizzy, ultra-bright drink in its grown-up form. As they should.

What Is The Dirty Shirley?

The Dirty Shirley is (thankfully) simple in its makeup as you only need a quick trip to the bodega and four ingredients to concoct this cocktail. A homage to the classic, this drink is just a Shirley Temple (lemon-lime soda and cherry juice garnished with a juicy Maraschino cherry) spiked with vodka. You heard it here — a little booze is the only addition to the traditional shirl.

How To Make The Dirty Shirley

After searching far and wide for variations of the Dirty Shirley, it seems like most folks are opting for simple when mixing up this summer sip. This particular recipe is from CEO of Spritz Season @join_jules on TikTok and is a breeze to follow. Here’s what you’ll need:


Ice (of course)

2 oz. vodka of choice

1 oz. Grenadine cocktail syrup or cherry juice

Lemon-lime soda of choice

Maraschino cherry, to garnish


Choose your favorite summer glass and pour in the Grenadine syrup.

Fill the rest of the glass with ice.

Pour in the vodka.

Fill the rest of the glass with lemon-lime soda, then stir until you have a cherry-to-pink ombré-colored cocktail.

Garnish with a Maraschino cherry and enjoy your *adult* Shirley Temple.

Wishing everyone a happy shirl girl summer, from me to you.